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The Migrant’s Spirit. Germany’s Rise to Economic Power in an Age of Transatlantic Migration

In my book manuscript, which is based on my dissertation, I unearth the transatlantic origins of economic development in central Europe. Using sources collected from archives on three continents, I unveil how a century of mass migration to North America led to the creation of new economic and legal institutions that proved key to the continent's rise as an economic powerhouse. 

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Past Research

German Miners and Polish Immigrants: Nation-building in the Industrial Ruhr Valley, 1870-1914

Based on original research in Bochum, Dortmund, and Gelsenkirchen, this paper retraces the politics of labor and nationhood amidst the arrival of some 450,000 Polish-speaking migrants in Germany's industrial Ruhr Valley.

Spatial Histories

Gateway to the Americas: Frankfurt on the Main in the 19th Century

The "Gateway to the Americas" uses digital methods to explore the spatial history of European capital export to the Americas between 1856 and 1896. The project draws on the newly digitized bank records of a prominent private bank in Frankfurt/Main. 


Working Paper

Mobility Solved: Home and Racial Citizenship in the Atlantic World

Co-authored with Nicole N. Martin.

Conceptions of citizenship changed dramatically over the course of the nineteenth century. In every corner of the Atlantic World, contemporaries worried about the consequences of decades of large-scale transatlantic migration. Here, we reconstruct how Americans and Europeans went about reforming their citizenship laws to meet the challenges and opportunities of “mass” migration. We argue that such reforms, rather than emerging out of distinct national contexts, were the product of an ongoing, transatlantic dialogue.

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Working Paper

American Greenbacks and Prussian Antisemites

History is full of unexpected consequences. In 1862, the U.S. Treasury issued fiat currency of dubious value in order to solve a war-induced fiscal crisis. It was a policy decision of global consequence. Inflationary “greenbacks” brought financial ruin not only upon working Americans but also their relatives, former friends, and neighbors in remote villages in far-away Prussia. This study examines how these men and women made sense of it all—and how the episode forever changed German politics.